Aquila and Priscilla Acts 18: 2-3 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This is a couple whom God used in a mighty way. Would to God that he would raise up more couples like them in our church.
In Acts 18:2-3 Paul met Aquila and Priscilla. Paul had come from Athens to Corinth across the Aegean Sea (according to Scofield, this was A.D. 54). He found Aquila, a Jew born in Pontus, a region on the southern coast of Black Sea in what is now Turkey. So, he was a Christian. He could have heard the gospel in Acts 2 (see Acts 2:9), or heard could have heard it from someone who was there, who brought the gospel to Pontus. He had moved to Italy and was married to Priscilla. They were commanded by Claudius to depart from Rome. Paul abode with them in Corinth. They were tentmakers like Paul [same craft]. There are two things to notice. God’s providential hand connected them with Paul. God will connect couples who want to be used with the people who can help them to be used. They were all about their occupation, at this point. But never again is their tent making mentioned. We can conclude that they were not as concerned with building their careers as they were with serving God.
In Acts 18:6, Paul said, “I will go unto the Gentiles.” Aquila was a Jew but he stayed with Paul, despite Paul’s change of direction. So, Aquila and Priscilla didn’t let their religious upbringing keep them from serving God among the Gentiles. Couples who serve God often encounter friction over their religious upbringing. Paul stayed in Corinth 18 months [Acts 18:11]. Priscilla and Aquila received tremendous Bible grounding under Paul’s preaching and teaching. Paul was brought before the judgment seat while he was there. So, to associate with Paul was risky business.
In Acts 18:18, Paul crossed over the peninsula to Cenchrea and then sailed to Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him as far as Ephesus [18:19, where he left them]. Some people ride the coattails of a notable man to gain recognition for themselves. Aquila and Priscilla, however, stayed in Ephesus when Paul moved on. Paul sailed on to Caesarea and then went down to Antioch [Acts 18:22]. This was the end of his second missionary journey.
In Acts 18:26, while Priscilla and Aquila were in Ephesus, they heard Apollos preach. They took him unto them [meaning they didn’t do this publicly]. They were able to humbly teach Apollos the rest of the story. They expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. God was able to use them to do this because of their studies with Paul, no doubt.
The first letter to the Corinthians was written from Philippi. In 1 Cor 16:19, Paul mentions the churches of Asia [this would have been in A.D. 59]. And then he mentions Aquila and Pricilla. He said they “salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.” This would have been in Ephesus. So, their relationship with the church in Corinth was still very good even after several years. And now they had a church in their house. They were not ashamed or unwilling to use their assets for God’s work.
In Rom 16:3-5, Paul calls Aquila and Priscilla “my helpers in Christ Jesus.” Aquila never became a pastor, or a missionary; they were just helpers. For Paul’s life they “laid down their own necks.” This is the kind of love that Jesus had for the disciples [Jn 15:13]. We know that Paul encountered many close calls on his life [Acts 15:25-26 says Paul and Barnabas hazarded their own lives]. Priscilla and Aquila would have been beheaded in Paul’s place, if it had come to that. The risk to their lives either took place at Corinth when Sosthenes was beaten or at the uproar in Ephesus over Demetrius [in Acts 19]. Paul said that all churches of the Gentiles were thankful for Priscilla and Aquila. They were that big of a help to Paul’s ministry. And notice that they had a church in their house [in Rome]. So, they were back there again [A.D. 60]. The letter to the Romans was written from Corinth and delivered by Phebe from Cenchrea.
Paul’s second epistle to Timothy was written from Rome to Timothy who was ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians. In 2 Tim 4:19, Paul says, “Salute Prisca and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus [2 Tim 1:16-18 who ministered to Paul].” This would have been in A.D. 66. Notice that Priscilla and Aquila were now back in Ephesus and their association was with another person who was like minded to be used of the Lord to help Paul.
Conclusion: When we examine the lives of Aquila and Priscilla we see how they were first saved, then providentially directed by God to Paul, under whom they could learn. They were together in their learning and in their service to the Lord all their lives. They learned well enough to teach a man like Apollos. They had a church in their home. They so loved and were so dedicated to the man they helped that they were willing to lay down their own necks for him. And in the end they were associated with a most faithful and diligent servant of the Lord. Is this the kind of couple you would like to be? Then pray and ask God to direct you and willingly submit to what he has for you in your life.